You work quickly and quietly, scouring a few houses with no luck, before stumbling (quite literally) upon a small cache of food hidden under a floor board. Two stale rolls and some canned beans. Jackpot. You shove the goods into your bag and turn to leave.
Blocking the door is a cat, small and lithe. It’s weaving between piles of crumbled plaster. It mews and shakes its head. You see the drops of red before the cat turns toward you. Blood. Blood streaming from the cat’s eyes.
You don’t move or break eye contact with the creature. Its head goes down and it moves slowly forward. You’re ready for the pounce, and you swing your bag full of cans, catching the cat in the ribs mid-air. It isn’t fazed. It leaps back at you, swiping at your face. You feel a sharp slice, but you don’t have time to think. You shove the cat into the now-empty cubbyhole and slam the floorboard back into place, dragging some heavy beams over it for good measure. The cat is screaming and the sound is almost human.
You touch your eyebrow and feel blood. Yours? Yeah. You start running. You don’t have time for stealth—sunset isn’t that far away and the fresh blood is going to attract every rabid for a mile. You’re sprinting for the safety of the tunnels, and you’re close. Right before you leap into the wide tunnel mouth, you see the huddled body inside. It’s tiny, a child. You back up. The child stiffens and raises her head. She smiles at you, wide and gleaming. Blood streams from her eyes as she stands up and holds out her arms to you.
She lunges, arms and mouth wide. The last thing you feel is her arms around your neck, and you’re grateful for that. No pain. Just darkness.
This story was inspired by the world of Julie Kagawa’s new novel The Immortal Rules. What path will Allison Sekemoto, an Unregistered who loathes vampires, choose when she becomes a vamp herself? Start reading The Immortal Rules for a limited time on Figment to find out!